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Too Beautiful To Live – The New Face of Radio

tail-recursion

 

Over the past year or so I’ve been fascinated with AM radio.   I’m addicted to the potent blend of right wing demagogy, pious preachers and conspiracy theorists.   (Or my favorite, all of the above.)  I think it’s the earnest insanity that gets me. 

And then I found tbtl, the show that’s probably too beautiful to live.   In a sea of insanity lies one small pocket of…more insanity.  But it’s our insanity, and I love them.  It’s difficult to describe the show, you simply have to listen.  It’s kind of like the Benny Hillifier.  Or like “Gardening with Marty Chang“.   They would be down with Cuil Theory.  

They love anything meta; recursion and self reference are almost daily themes.  They like fractals.  I would not be surprised if some of them have read G.E.B.  If they haven’t, they should.  If you haven’t you should.

In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion

 They have a podcast, and in Seattle you can listen to them at 97.3 KIRO FM between 7 and 10 PM Monday through Saturday.  AM’s being deprecated…sigh.

Listen to tbtl, so that they do live.   And now, here’s a funny animal video, brought to you by the Benny Hillifier.

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Buddies Looking for Work

I have some buddies who are looking for a job, so check out their resumes.

Hillary Clinton is a Big Fat Liar

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The Democrats need to get a clue and recognize that they only have one electable candidate, and that candidates name doesn’t rhyme with Billary.  While I think McCain will give Obama a run for his money, my money is still on the Dems dark horse. 

Hillary now claims she was “sleep deprived” when she exaggerated the danger she faced in Bosnia.  And of course Carl Bernstein had to say “I told you she lied“.  Youtube is mocking her, and digg is dancing on the grave of her presidential bid.

Speaking of national debt; how sad is it that we live in a time when conservatives rack up more debt than liberals?  Does this mean we are entering a progressive age of fiscal responsibility?  Or bankruptcy…we can take our choice.

Obama, please require responsible national spending habits.  McCain or Hillary won’t if they are elected, you are the last hope.

In other news, invest in gold and oil, get rid of your expensive house and buy a cheaper one at an awesome interest rate.  Another hint, Food prices going up means increased farm production, and the weak dollar adds incentive for onshore manufacturing.

Dear Verizon…

I received one of your glossy advertisements in the mail today, asking me to “Come Back To Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess”. As this flier indicates, I used to subscribe to Verizon’s EVDO service and do not anymore. What this flier does not indicate is that I did not willfully drop this service, you dropped it for me without warning or prior notice. Apparently I was guilty of using going over the bandwidth limit on my unlimited bandwidth account. I’m sure you remember how that ended. Oh yeah I forgot, thanks for that refund check!

Not to rehash old arguments; but the fact that you are trying to get all nicey nicey about this service again really ticks me off. So I decided to send you a letter, and at least opt-out of your junk mail cluttering up my mailbox. (Just so you know, I never opt-in willfully, but I probably missed a TINY little check box with TINY little words next to them, so my bad for not being careful/paranoid)

But instead of providing a convenient email address to contact you at, you forced me to fill out this long webform, and you required that I fill in personal data that I had to look up. And then your crappy Javascript validation puked and crashed the page, forcing me to start over. (perhaps you didn’t test with Firefox? Hmmm…did you test your EVDO with Firefox?) So at that point I decided to write to you in this blog instead.

You know what what would work a lot better than advertisements? Not treating your customer’s like shit…that would work really well. Due to entropy I never bothered to get a new cell phone service, so I am still a monthly custie. I never received an apology for what happened when I called in because me internet had stopped working. Not that I expected one, and I don’t blame your customer service rep; you’re the ones forcing him to claim that a 5 gig a month limit is “unlimited”, and that it’s perfectly acceptable to have a modern internet service that doesn’t allow multimedia.

No apology necessary, but don’t try to sell me your stupid freakin’ internet service. I don’t know why I’d trust you with my internet service anyway, I’m sure you’d love to turn my browsing habits over to Big Brother’s data miners.

Can you hear me now? Go screw yourself.

Your humble servant,

Calvin Lawson

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Scientology Disconnects Families

Today’s “Party Hard” Protests seems to have gone well, although the “leader of Anonymous” was arrested in Atlanta for “protesting without a permit”. The good ol’ Southern boys also handed out numerous tickets for honking, as that is apparently against the law (selective enforcement, anyone?). “Leader” of Anon…so silly. The idiot did have a megaphone though, from what I understand…way to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

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Even more interesting is the new website Ex-Scientology Kids, where people talk about what it was like to grow up in “the church”. One of the girls who created this site is David Miscavige’s niece, and all of their stories are terribly sad. They were raised in the church, decided to leave, and were subsequently astrocized by their more devout family members, and also directly harassed by Co$.

What happens is, if you leave you are not allowed to say negative things to your family about the church If you do not jump through the right hoops in the way when you leave and in what you say, people in the church are ordered to not speak or communicate with you at all. Many of these kids have not spoken to their parents/brothers/sisters/uncles/aunts in years!

Although under Scientology Reform Code family disconnects and fair game policy were canceled, in practice they still occur all the time. Reading these girl’s accounts makes it clear that while the policy was canceled, the practices surrounding those policies has stayed in play. Publicly criticizing any church practice or belief is automatic grounds for disconnection, and disconnection is total. If they church does allow you to see them, your family members will have to take special auditing courses to make sure they were not exposed to anti-Co$ ideas.

As someone who grew up in a religious family and later left, I know from personal experience that disconnects happen even with the best of intentions. Even when you love your family and they love you right back, and there is no official policy. The fact that you don’t share in a engrossing time/mind commitment like Evangelicalism or Scientology means that you are now out of community with each other. Try as hard as you want you are never going to be as close as you were when you had the same mission.

Scientology shares this aspect of religion, this full devotion and heartfelt desire to save the world from all bad things. They have a fervent belief that they are special, and that they know something that other people don’t know, and that this thing is important on a universe sized scale. That shared belief is a powerful community builder and a powerful motivator, as obscure and confusing as it may seem to an outsider.

The real question is whether this New Religious Movement is dangerous or not. The fact that Scientology continues to support disconnects makes it even harder for them to defend themselves. The question is whether fixed rate “donations” can be tax deductable. The question is how closely related are corporations and religions, and where can you draw the line to differentiate between the two.

Someone on Slashdot had this to say about defining Dangerous New Religious Movements:

* Physical barriers or a social hierarchy which prevent leaving.
* Financial dependence (and exploitation) of members.
* Isolation (especially physical) from non-followers.
* Sometimes, psychological control tactics, such as never allowing an individual member to be alone (where they might think for themselves and realise that This Is A Bad Idea) or hypnotic controls that encourage a trance-like state (physical exhaustion + certain rhythms = bad) . link

Scientology fits this definition disturbingly well, as even a small amount of research will show. Getting access to actual Scientology documentation is slightly harder, but it is available on the net and absolutely supports the view of a domineering bureaucratic corporate religion. Their obsession and trust in “Tech” is complete, as much as a fundamentalist’s belief in inerrant scripture. If you follow the Tech and still have problems, it’s your fault, not the Techs.

But modern Christianity does not usually lead to physical barriers against leaving, financial dependency, Isolation, and psychological control, although some in some extreme cases it does. Scientology has a choice to make now; whether to be benign or dangerous. So far the record isn’t looking very good, and their current actions aren’t helping.

May You Live in Interesting Times

I am seeing a marked decrease in complacency out there. Whether this will be good or bad remains to be seen, but I think it as a positive thing.

Obama is doing remarkably well against Clinton, winning the most delegates so far. More importantly, he’s smashing the popular vote, getting remarkably close to 2 to 1 against Billary. He is crushing both McCain and Clinton for the independent vote. A black man raised as a Muslim is being embraced by moderates; this country sure is learning from its past. Even more amazing is how well Obama is doing with the youth. The Democratic Party better realize the treasure it has in Obama. They need to recognize the amazing turnout at caucuses for exactly what it is; disgust with neo-conservative quasi-fascist policies. Obama is the the antithesis of this, and it is no surprise he has captured the imagination of so many people.

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Project Chanology invaded meat-space with a large worldwide protest, including one in dear old Seattle. It has also been noticed by the mainstream press, making the front page of newsweek.com Pretty cool. The “lulz” of Project Chanology is still coming through, with a parody of the Tom Cruise video by Pastafarians along with a companion “Anonymous” parody video against Pastafarianism:

“We are Anonymous

We do not forgive.

We do not double park.

We do not know the sweet touch of a woman.

Expect us.”

link.

Awesome. “Hot girls”, you must show up to these things. And I appreciate that so many people have stood up against using illegal and supressive tactics, as these just play right into their hands. The next protest in on March 5th, LRH’s BD. I have a lot more to say on this fascinating subject, but more on that later. Stay safe, kids!

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PS: Does anybody who is not Ethan know who Rob Sheridan is? (he took pic above)

Congress is finally showing some freakin’ balls. FISA, contempt, walk-outs, all sorts of good times. Public Service Announcement from Sidetrack: “if telco’s don’t get immunity, terrorists will kill your Grandmother.” Do you really think Bush & Co. gives a crap whether some telco executives go to jail? The problem is, the telco’s defense will be “We were just following orders“. Now that the wire-tapping is widely known (thank you internets!), “state secret privileges” do not apply, so this whole ball of crap is going to court. Can someone shout”Unconstitutional”? Guess who’s busy covering their asses!

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On some strictly personal news, I’ve started working for a multinational consulting company, as a Sr. Business Intelligence Developer. For good reason, corporations are sensitive about free expression of thought by their employees, especially if it contradicts societal norms. A loud mouth employee can be a bigger risk than asset, regardless of how effective he may be.

As a representative of my company what I do and say is very important, and I must always be respectful and courteous. So I want to make it clear this is my PERSONAL OPINION BLOG; protected under basic human rights, and has nothing to do with any corporate interests at all. It is in my legal right (and responsibility, I think) to use my real name for an opinion blog, and it is well within a company’s rights to not be represented on that blog. Free thinkers can be a tremendous asset for corporations as long as we all remember these things.

But on a strictly personal note, this is a very interesting time to live in, and I’m loving it! And speaking of interesting:

Uh…yeah, OJ Did It.

Posted Date: November 30, 2007

Oh yeah, he definitely did, <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrograde_amnesia&#8221; target=”_self”>retrograde amnesia</a> or not.&nbsp; <br><br><a href=”http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gwXXBU9-InHgXXvu-dN7FNTkDe_gD8T7RRNG0&#8243; target=”_self”>PDF is still available on piratesbay.org</a>, or at your local bookseller.<br><br>”It was like part of my life was missing—like there was some weird gap in my existence. But how could that be? I was standing right there. That was me, right?&nbsp; I again looked down at myself, at my blood-soaked clothes, and noticed the knife in my hand. The knife was covered in blood, as were my hand and wrist and half of my right forearm.”<br><br>”I guess people remember what they want to remember.”<br><br><br>